by Renee Wormell

GSCA Annual Members’ Meeting & Dinner:

Granite State Carriage Association kicked off the 2016 season with the Annual Members’ Meeting on March 6, 2016 at The Elks Lodge 146, on Granite Street in Manchester, NH. The Annual Meeting is always a great event to say good bye to old man winter and bid welcome back to spring. 

Horse Driving Club Speaker Annual Dinner GSCARobert Schmick speaks at GSCA Annual DinnerThis year the featured speaker was Robert Schmick, Ph.D., Director of 19th Century Willowbrook Village in Newfield, Maine.  A visit to 19th Century Willowbrook Village is a step back in time, where visitors can stroll the fifteen plus acres and see historic homes and barns, a restored schoolhouse and bandstand, a mill pond and waterfalls, an 1894 steam engine-powered carousel, and an 1849 Concord stage coach among many, many other interesting mementos from days gone by.  This lifestyle museum routinely hosts working demonstrations of blacksmithing, fiber arts, and woodworking. 

There is always something of interest happening in the Village, suitable to the season. The annual Ice Harvest Festival is held in January and features horse-drawn bobsled rides. GSCA President, Jean Harvey participated at the Ice Harvest Festival this year with her team of pinto ponies.  Spring highlights Maple Sugar Saturday.  Classes are held throughout the year teaching useful skills such as Victorian Kitchen cooking, Knife making, and antique engine repair.  Volunteers staff the museum and events and diligently work on restorations of buildings and antique equipment.Horse Driving Club Auctioneer Eric and assistant Treasurer LindaHorse Driving Club Auctioneer Eric and assistant Treasurer Linda

Carriage tours are available most days and reenactments are held often. A full calendar of happenings is available on their website .  19th Century Willowbrook Village is a favorite of school groups and home-schoolers. Groups can pack in a picnic lunch or grab a bite at the Sandwich Shop and Ice Cream Parlor.  How fortunate we are to have this delightful working museum so close by. 

GSCA extends heartfelt thanks to Mr. Schmick for his very interesting presentation and for enlightening us as to the existence of this wonderful place and all it has to offer.  We are especially thankful to 19th Century Willowbook Village for its generous invitation to host a carriage event in 2016. Our multi-day outing to Willowbrook will be held July 8-10, 2016.  Be sure to check our website for details, but don’t wait till July to take advantage of all the family fun and interesting things to see and do at the Village museum

2016 Officers & Directors:

Congratulations to GSCA members elected or re-elected to the GSCA Board of Directors:  Jean Harvey was re-elected to serve as President for a two-year term.  Jean was elected in 2015 to complete the remaining term vacated by the resignation of Cresca Albright in late 2014 due to personal issues. Renée Wormell was re-elected to her second 2-year term as Secretary.  The board also welcomes Cindy Schlener as new director. HorseDrivingClubAuctionModelsGSCARick M. and Bob C. Model hats for Eric W. at GSCA Auction

We extend our appreciation to retiring director, Laurie Goodwin, who graciously stepped in to fill a vacancy when her predecessor relocated to South Carolina. Other directors/officers currently serving include Eric Wilking, Treasurer, Connie Moses, Vice President, Dave Herrick, Director and Isabelle “Boo” Martin, Director. An active club, such as GSCA is, requires the dedication of many volunteers for governance, planning, records preservation, communication, and hosting of events.  It takes many hands to make GSCA the vibrant organization that it is.  Thank you to all who step up to keep the trains moving!

Annual FUNd-Raiser Auction:
Always a highlight of the Annual Meeting, the FUNd-Raising auction at the annual meeting did not disappoint.  Donations from individuals and businesses were diverse and plentiful.  Of special interest was a mink coat that appeared to be tailor-made for Sylvia Miskoe and her daughter, Hillary DeAngelis.  So, they bought it together to share!  Good resolution!

HorseDrivingClubPresidentGSCAGSCA President Jean Harvey models her new cavessonJean Harvey was delighted with her new lunging caveson, and the crowd enjoyed the runway struts of models Rick Moses and Bob Cahill, sporting dashing hats up for bids.  Treasurer Eric Wilking, as always, proved to be a very effective auctioneer, soliciting the best bids.  Thanks to Eric’s efforts, the auction brought in needed operating funds for the year!  Nice job, Eric!  Other than membership fees, the annual auction, as our single fundraiser, is essential to meeting operating costs.   

Awards & Honors:
It was a family sweep – the 2015 Participation Award, given in honor of GSCA founding members Ellet and Shirley Sevey, was presented to Connie and Rick Moses.  It was a rare event that did not see Connie and Rick driving their pair of Percheron-Arab cross brothers.  In addition, Connie was voted GSCA’s MVP for 2015.  Connie is an invaluable member and volunteer.  She manages the website and FaceBook page, and never fails to step up to help at events.  Thank you, Connie, for all you do! 

In addition, two founding members, Ginger Laplante and Sonia Cahill were awarded Lifetime Memberships, in recognition of their many years of dedicated service to the club. Ginger and Sonia join Barbara Hurld in this honored designation.

Time to Join/Renew:
Membership renewals are now due!  Early renewal helps our club meet annual obligations and prepare for spring events. Please promote our club to your friends and fellow horse enthusiasts, be they carriage drivers or riders, or just like hanging out with cool, horsey folks!  GSCA is a fun group of people who host some of the best driving and riding events in New England! Updated brochures were distributed at the annual Meeting but may also be obtained through any board member.HorseDrivingClubMinkCoatAuctionMink Coat Auction find shared by Sylvia and daughter Hillary

GSCA is dedicated to the promotion of safe, recreational, pleasure driving.  Single day and multi-day driving events are held all over New England. Riders are welcome at most events.  Dues are a bargain at only $25 a year (for $1 more, also become an affiliate member of Maine Driving Club!). Participation in most events is free, except for stabling or camping fees or catered meals if applicable.

See GSCA's Calendar of Activities and find us also on FaceBook – GSCA Granite State Carriage .


RECAPS thanks to Renee Wormell, Sec. GSCA